Photography News 81 WEB

Big test

PERFORMANCE: EXPOSURELATITUDE

-3EV

-2EV

-1EV

A nine-shot exposure bracket of a sunlit scene was shot to try out the Z 5’s Raw’s exposure flexibility – seven shots are shown here. The under- and overexposed Raws were exposure corrected in Lightroom. Underexposed Raws corrected very nicely in Lightroom and the recovered images looked good, even the -4EV shot, though it did display a little noise in even tones. That level of noise fell with the -3EV shot and continued to improve, with the -2EV shot giving a result indistinguishable from the correctly exposed frame. Overexposure was handled less well, with the +4EV shot unacceptable and the +3EV shot exhibiting a colour cast and high contrast. That colour cast was still evident with the +2EV image and only went at +1EV to match the correctly exposure frame. If you need to rely on the Z 5’s exposure latitude, then hope for underexposure, because in this test, the grossly underexposed Raws recovered very nicely.

0EV

+1EV

+2EV

+3EV

Perhaps Nikon could offer the option via a firmware update. The data items within outlined boxes are the ones that can be activated and adjusted by touch with on-screen virtual pointers. As for the monitor itself, its resolution is lower than its brothers, but the image is still good and the touch feature works well. There is a noticeable lag with the touch shutter/ touch AF option, so that needs bearing in mind for subjects like street shooting when timing is important, but the touch AF and repositioning AF point features are responsive enough. Nikon claims a 5EV benefit with the IBIS system. I did some handholding tests with the 24-50mm lens at 50mm using the mechanical shutter. If you assume 1/60sec is the safest non- stabilised shutter speed to use, then a 5EV benefit would be 1/2sec, so I took sets of shots from 1sec to 1/15sec. In my test, I got the odd sharp shot, but mostly failures at 1sec and 1/2sec and enjoyed much greater success at 1/4sec and 1/6sec, so for me the realistic benefit was more in the order

engaged with the middle and fourth fingers of the right hand and each has 39 functions that can be assigned. Four more controls on the body can also be reassigned to different functions, plus up to three on the lens – on the supplied lens, the focus ring can be set to behave like a normal aperture ring. The i button offers a fast way of accessing your most frequently used settings. Push the i button and a grid of 12 boxes appears and you can edit what’s available via its menu from 35 options. Selecting what you want can be done with the multi-directional thumb pad or by touch. Push the DISP button and you scroll through display options. There’s a full display, one showing key settings only, there’s live histogram and spirit level and, finally, you get the ‘i’ menu. For me, the one missing is a plain-screen option where all you see is the picture. Even the most minimal option at the moment has a range of data across the bottom of the image and, while you can check the uncluttered composition through the EVF, that defeats the point of using the monitor in the first place.

3200

6400

51,200

102,400

TOP The 24-50mm f/4-6.3 kit lens is very compact in its collapsed form. There's no top-plate LCD info panel on the Z 5, which you get with the Z 6 and Z 7 ABOVE LEFT The Nikon Z mount has an inner diameter of 55mm, the widest in the 35mm format, and a 16mm flange distance ABOVE RIGHT The Z 5 offers plenty of options for user customisation

Issue 81 | Photography News 21

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